Jul 29, 2009

Featured Team Member: EarthyExpressions

My name is Kristen Ramsey but, everyone usually just calls me Kristie.

Where you hail from: I was born and raised in Massillon, OH, a wonderful little town of about 30,000 people that is about an hour south of Cleveland. I still live in Massillon today.

Photo of Kristen:

Art Training/Education:
I don't have any formal art training or education. I come from a very artsy/crafty family. When I was little and my grandma would watch me she would always have some sort of craft for me to do. She was amazingly creative and talented so, I think it all started there for me. I do take metalsmithing classes, though, from a very talented girl named Kristina Malcolm. She has taught me a lot of what I know about the art of metalsmithing.

When was the first time you tried your hand at metalsmithing and what prompted you to give it a shot? The first time I tried my hand at metalsmithing I had no idea that the class I had signed up for was metalsmithing! I thought I had signed up for a PMC class! I remember getting to the class and I was given a length of square sterling wire, a length of 16 gauge round wire and a pearl and thinking "Wow, I think I made a mistake this isn't PMC." but, decided to try it anyways and I had so much fun that I just wanted to keep taking more classes and learning as much as I could and here I am! It's so funny how that happened but, it was meant to be.

Creatively, what do yo
u consider to be your first artist success and why? I think my first artist success has been getting accepted at the Ohio Arts and Crafts Guild Gallery in Canton, OH. I feel like being accepted has made me feel successful somewhat with my art. It makes one feel like you aren't the only person who appreciates it someone else likes it too. It's validation I guess.

Creatively, what was your biggest disaster and what did you learn from it? Hmmm...that's a hard question. I try to have a focus for each project so, that I don't have any disasters. I try to avoid those at all costs! Even if something doesn't turn out quite the way I expected it I don't call it a disaster it's more like a learning experience for me. I think it's probably because I'm so new to metalsmithing it's all a learning experience for me. Some projects turn out great just the way I want and others if it doesn't turn out I know I need to practice that skill some more.

What are your favorite materials and techniques to work with? Right now my favorite metalsmithing technique is piercing and my favorite material to work with is fine silver. I love fusing fine silver! You gotta love that it takes no solder and no pickle. It's fast. It's fun. It's easy. I just made some stacking rings with it and they were so cute I had to keep them for myself!

Share you workbench: My workbench is usually a disaster area. I really need to organize it more (which I plan to do soon). I took over my hubby's workbench in the basement and it is perfect for me. It's a great height and it's nice a heavy which is great for metal stamping which I do a lot of. The only down side is it's in the basement which isn't very fun to work in on nice sunny days because it's so dark):

What inspires you most in your creative process and why? Nature inspires me the most in my creative process. I love nature and all that goes along with it so, it's only natural that it flows into my creative process. I also love that nature is not perfect and I like that look. In my jewelry it's not an imperfection but, part of the charm of it.

Is there one Metalsmith/Artist that you really admire whose work inspires you? I can't think of just one person whose work inspires me although, my teacher Kristina Malcolm does some amazing things. Her piercing skills are beyond belief to me so, she inspires me to work harder at that so, that I can maybe someday be that good at piercing. We also have some very talented members of our team who inspire me to work hard too!

Show us your favorite piece. Why is it your favorite? This is one of my favorite pieces of jewelry I've made because it was the first piece of jewelry I bezel set from scratch:

Show us your latest pieces:
Here is a pic is of what I've been working on lately. They are my fine silver stacking rings. They are really fun to make. I just love how they turned out. They're simple but, so cute and really comfortable to wear:

What are your ten year goals in terms of your metal work? My ten year goals in my metal work are to sell enough pieces to have all the tools that I need to do everything that I learn in class at home. Right now that is my biggest frustration and my biggest roadblock. I'm a stay-at-home mom for the most part (which I love BTW and don't want to give up) so, that makes things a little bit tougher for me in terms of buying all the equipment I need, but I have faith that it will a happen in time.

Here are some more designs by EarthyExpressions:

To see more of EarthyExpressions designs, you can visit her Etsy Store here:

Thank you Kristen!